Donald Krusel (left), John MacFarlane, Jane McIvor, Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin, Edward Wahl and Robin Inglis were recipients of the Beaver Medals in 2018 (File contributed/Maritime Museum of B.C.)

Maritime museum seeks nominations for top mariners

Beaver Medals go out to those making outstanding achievements in the marine sector

The Maritime Museum of B.C. is now taking nominations for the top provincial award for mariners.

The 2019 SS Beaver medals recognize outstanding achievements of those working in B.C.’s marine sector, including those who have contributed to science, technology, business, applications of marine skills, nautical heritage and culture and academic offerings.

An award is also available to recognize a noteworthy organization, vessel, or technological project.

“The marine sector generates roughly eight per cent of B.C.’s GDP and this involves a wide span of activities,”said Jan Drent, a member of the medal steering committee. “The maritime museum sponsors the SS Beaver award to help raise awareness about this diverse sector and to recognize outstanding individuals.”

The gold-plated medal is made from copper salvaged from an 1835 Hudson’s Bay Company paddlewheel steam ship, the SS Beaver.

The Beaver was built in England and came to the northwest coast where she served the area for 53 years as a commercial navigator, a floating trading post, a hydrographic survey ship and a towboat.

In 1888, SS Beaver grounded near Vancouver, but metal from her machinery was recovered for use in the Beaver Medal.

“To our knowledge, no other award encompasses all aspects of our coastal industry, history, technology, or practical application of skills,” said former ambassador and retired Admiral John Anderson.

The Maritime Museum of B.C. urges the public to nominate outstanding marine achievers. Potential recipients will be selected by an awards committee which includes members of the Chamber of Shipping B.C., B.C. Ferries, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, a former Coast Guard captain, a marine historian, a marine writer and the past president of the maritime museum.

Nominations will be accepted until May 17.

For more information, please go online to mmbc.bc.ca.

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